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Seeing film: Reading contemporary film culture

Laseur, Carol (1998) Seeing film: Reading contemporary film culture. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

This thesis works towards a revisionist structure of film and film theory in contemporary popular culture. Rather than taking the film text as a 'received object' of analysis, the aim is to foreground certain film texts and the ways of seeing that they demand. The films examined throughout this thesis are positioned as being not merely vehicles for driving theory. Rather, they stand as sites of investigation into the everyday aspects of cinema and popular culture.

This work is concerned with the way major theorists of film construct and focus on a classical canon and intends to develop a more lively (questioning) alternative method for film analysis by examining a range of marginal texts in culture: the less mainstream (and straight-to-video) releases, the production and reception of B-grade, exploitation and Aboriginal filmmaking. The latter consists of an indepth analysis of Tracey Moffatt's BeDevil and Anne Pratten's short film Terra Nullius. I also engage with the self-reflexive media aspects of the Gus Van Sant text To Die For.

Each of these case studies orients the thesis towards a debate regarding surrealism that allows for a reworking of typical realist norms of narrative film and its canonical status while simultaneously suggesting new ways of connecting (with the text) via filmic ways of seeing; the suggestion being that surrealism is an enduring influence in our increasingly visual and technological age. Integrated within this debate is a discussion of the role of 'framing7 practitioners (the critic, the reviewer and the scholar) in the area of film studies, moving towards an opening out of the possibilities that could be termed post-theory in the age of the image.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation: Division of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: repository@murdoch.edu.au. Thank you.
Supervisor(s): De Reuck, Jennifer and Richardson, John
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/52799
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